Enacting Indigenous Data Governance in Archaeology


Archaeologists are increasingly engaging with data governance frameworks to ‘decolonize’ knowledge making in the age of big data. Data governance typically includes knowledge making, decision making and strategies for data management, preservation and curation, accessibility, quality issues and legal and policy concerns over data ownership and data security. While fruitful, these data-centric efforts obscure the impact of colonialism on the practice of science and overlook the rights of Indigenous peoples when it comes to data ownership, data sharing and knowledge creation. Seeking to re-center people in data governance, the Global Indigenous Data Alliance has developed CARE (collective benefit, authority, responsibility, ethics) principles. In this talk, we will present a collaboration between UBC Okanagan and Westbank First Nation Archaeology Office to create digital platforms that enable engagement with Syilx digital heritage and build capacity in digital tools and technologies. We examine what data governance frameworks mean for archaeology and digital heritage, and suggest ways that archaeologists can begin to enact Indigenous data governance towards dismantling colonial structures and practice in Canadian archaeology.

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC